These are the Comments collected at the January 13, 2015 “Train Wreck Meeting” held at All Nations Church. To see the questions submitted with answers supplied by S.A.F.E. volunteers, please see: FAQ.

Route

Los Angeles residents and those between Palmdale and Burbank do not benefit from HSR. There are no stops, and the Authority refused to consider one for the Santa Clarita/Valencia area. In a large metropolitan area like Los Angeles, there should be SOME benefit to us for the disruption and expense! – Laurie T. from Arleta

The E1, E2, and E3 routes are unacceptable. The only route that is viable is the original SR14 Route that we voted for. Stop this insanity and attempted destruction of this precious area. – K.J. from Sunland Tujunga

The High Speed Rail should be along the 5 Freeway – not here where we have a very nice neighborhood. – Zorina R. from La Tuna Canyon

Are these [E1, E2, and E3 route] proposals serious? I wonder, because it is such a bad idea if it is merely a response to the opposition along SR14. It allows the HSR to say, “See, we looked at alternatives and they won’t work.” These are so bad they make anything else look better. We were promised high speed, 2 ½ hours. Although HSRA still says that, we know it’s a lie. Here they propose a tunnel in which a train can go no faster than present traffic – 60 – 75 mph for 20+ miles. – Michael G. from Shadow Hills

Our home and our neighborhood will be severely impacted by this needless boondoggle for Jerry Brown’s “legacy”. Put this train, if it ever gets done, where it was originally planned – shared with the highway. I agree with Councilman Fuentes that the San Fernando “leg” should be completely underground when it comes down from the 5/14 corridor. – Caryn W. from Kagel Canyon

The SR14 Option is the least objectionable, but still no good. – Wallace L. from Lakeview Terrace

The route disrupts the Rim of the Valley and interferes with our planned trailhead staging park on Terra Vista. – Donna L. from Kagel Canyon


Cost

Please emphasize to the community to carefully and meticulously read all material they receive on their doors and from the mail. If they don’t understand, ask someone who can explain it thoroughly. I lived through a nightmare as this before. We are in such debt and so deep into the deficit and we do not need to spend these billions of dollars. Give me a break! We are a tight and brilliant community. – Susan D. from Sunland Tujunga

This proposal is as large as the Chunnel from London to France. It’s way too much. It will sabotage the entire system with financial burden. – Anonymous

Just one comment. This whole project is estimated at $68 billion. Has ANY governmental project come in under budget? And how many people will truly benefit from this? – Anonymous

We have heard $38 billion, $60 billion, $80 billion, and $120 billion. Now we are at $68 billion, but it’s fair to say they are all fantasy. But none of those estimates included $15 – $20 billion for tunnels. It is important to remember that all the people involved actually have no stake in seeing it finished. None of them will be there. It is only important that as much money as possible be spent and that they get theirs. They will be retired or deceased before people wake up to the mess. Our children and grandchildren will pay a huge price for this hubris. – Michael G. from Shadow Hills

We cannot trust the cost estimates (anywhere from $9 billion to $100 billion dollars) – Wallace L. from Lakeview Terrace

Money should be spent on improving our prison system and drug/addiction and homeless problem. It’s cheaper and faster to fly. – Candace K. from Kagel Canyon


Lifestyle & Equestrian Concerns

I lease a stable in Kagel Canyon, Sylmar area. This is a very special and unique area for horsemen and wildlife. This kind of place so close to the urban sprawl of LA should be preserved and treasured. Areas like this, close to the city, are endangered. People need to fight for these places so their children can enjoy wildlife and riding a horse outside an arena. These places need to be within driving distance of the densely populated areas. Horses and horse ownership is a big deal for our economy. We need to protect our trails and horse property for posterity. Thank you. – Karen F. from Kagel Canyon

Lakeview Terrace has history: 100-year old orange orchards, vast rural beauty that has become the last in Los Angeles! It started with the 210 Freeway in the 1970’s, the loss of Hansen Dam Lake! Now here we are again being threatened. Soon all history and environmental beauty will be gone. Survey LA has been in our area and I live in a 1928 bungalow that existed when orange groves and Model T’s made up the picture of our little piece of heaven. Stop trying to go through Lakeview Terrace and the surrounding areas – just because we are small, we are unique, we are old, but so full of strength and serenity. You took our lake, put in a freeway. Stop, and let the last piece of LVT live in peace! Your plan is not my plan. I have been here 42 years, my mom 47 years! – Carol A. from Lakeview Terrace

First and foremost, my biggest concerns are the safety of the animals, especially the horses and peacocks; not to mention the horse riders as well. Horses are very sensitive creatures and will be able to feel the vibration of the trains coming and going; which means that the horses will be in a frenzy and the riders will be put in danger along with the horses and all other keen animals. Furthermore, on the vibrations issue, my house is old, like many others, and shakes enough with the passing big trucks that pass by! It’s like a mini earthquake! The Wash once ran all over Lakeview Terrace properties at one time, then was slowly built on and is what it is today, but has always remained country style. I grew up country style and love my rural living, but this train changes my lifestyle and is changing things for many. I have more that I could say, but I have not enough room to do my writing justice. I’ve lived here 25 years and intended to raise my future children here like I was raised, but I feel forced to abandon my dream and lifestyle. It puts me to tears because I feel my neighbor’s kids’ lives changing, and I fear for their safety. I don’t own a horse, but I used to always go riding as a child. (I may not be able to ride anymore, but I stand by horse owners.) My neighborhood and myself have worked hard to keep our country style lifestyles as-is, without upgrades. – Julia F. from Lakeview Terrace

The noise pollution would ruin the surrounding communities not to mention the eyesore it would create. – Candace K. from Kagel Canyon

I just moved to Shadow Hills and I love it here. My neighbor teaches me how to ride and I have just started. I am not good enough to ride on a trail yet, but I want to ride on a trail without a train startling the horses. I don’t have a horse, but one day I might get one if the train doesn’t come through here. – Anonymous

We board our horse at Monte Verde Ranch on Osborne. There is no way they can destroy this pristine area and the horses’ peace of mind. – Debbie B.

I moved to Kagel Canyon along with my wife and three kids, to enjoy the rural community. It’s quiet and I live a quarter mile from the Angeles National Forest. We enjoy the wildlife. I am here tonight (at this 2 – 3 hour meeting) with my wife and children (ages 2, 5, and 7). Why? Because this community is worth fighting for. And we will FIGHT!!! I can’t believe this community is being considered for the high speed rail. WE WILL FIGHT!!! – Joe M. from Kagel Canyon

Please bear in mind that the equestrian-based communities of Shadow Hills, La Tuna Canyon, Kagel Canyon, and Lakeview Terrace, as well as the rural areas of Sunland and Tujunga are not “empty spaces” due to neglect and lack of economic incentive. They are low-density by design and desire. We have fought hard to keep them that way. Those of us who join that fight late do so with vigor, having chosen to live here for the very reason of its low density. So do not think that the relative “emptiness” of the area is attractive to rail construction and rail routing. This area was not left “under-developed” so as to provide an “alternative route” for the HSR. The last minute “alternatives” need to be taken off the table immediately, and the original routes only studied and implemented. A strategy of NIMBY from residents of the original route is creating a divide and conquer mentality that the voters never envisioned. Please stop! – Daniel E. from La Tuna Canyon

I’ve lived here for 53 of my 54 years. 1960 we moved here. I remember no trucks, because there were no freeways (Hollywood and 210). I remember Hansen Dam – white sands, clear water, ski boats, sailing, fishing, camping, Pop Willows, and Orcas. I remember no traffic, dirt roads, more deer, more birds, more open space. I remember doors unlocked, unlocked lives, and horses, horses, and more horses. As a broker for 33 years in this area, I have seen the change and the change needs to stop. No more. – Jesse T. from Sun Valley

We live in a beautiful, rural, mountainous community with hiking trails, wildlife, equestrians, and a stunning visual aesthetic. This area is enjoyed and treasured by members of this community and by citizens of the entire Los Angeles community. There are many industrial areas in Los Angeles through which a high speed rail might travel. It is an unthinkable idea to drill through our National Forest and destroy the gorgeous open spaces that can be enjoyed by all in Los Angeles. There is so little rural beauty and open space in Los Angeles. It is absolutely ruinous to the area to have high speed rail constructed here. It would destroy the character and nature of the entire community for all of Los Angeles. – Beverly L. from Sunland Tujunga

Thanks for considering our concerns about routing the HSR project through our residential areas and Angeles National Forest. We are long term residents (32 years and 46 years), enjoying our protected country atmosphere. We plan to live in peace and safety for the remainder of our lives. We prefer HSR be restricted to the 14 and 5 freeway routes. Avoid destroying our local water supply sources, mind-boggling truck traffic for years, negatively impacting our equine industry, endangering our home ownership and values, causing our large horse population to endanger themselves and their riders, the safety and survival of our Wildlife Waystation Sanctuary necessary to the balance of nature, avoid unnecessary lengthy environmental studies and reports, noise pollution, degrade our recreational facilities, and defile Angeles National Forest as a National Forest. – Mariano and Georgia V. from Shadow Hills

I am outraged at the thought of destroying our equestrian communities and rural lifestyle. Please stop this madness! Follow the existing plan: SR14 and along existing rail lines. Do NOT destroy our community! – Kathy N. from La Tuna Canyon

Hansen Dam and the Wash are recreation areas for many non-horse people. Given the widely acknowledged dearth of open space in Los Angeles, why would they destroy so much – Big Tujunga, Little Tujunga, and Hansen Dam??? – Mary Anne S. from Sunland Tujunga

Pure water is vital to all life. Tunneling will damage our springs and aquifer. California and Los Angeles in particular needs open, quiet space to rejuvenate from the maddening pace of modern life. NO HSR in our area. Put it where it should be – along the 5 and 14 freeways. – Kurt K. from Kagel Canyon

The concept is we have a beautiful recreational community to be used by all. People need this in today’s high stress environment. Please don’t take away from us one of the few areas we have to de-stress. – Patricia J. from Shadow Hills

This will bring more traffic to the [Burbank] station area. There are not enough parking spaces for the airport, let alone the train. Will frighten horses. – Wallace L. from Lakeview Terrace